Download StudyGeneral

Study Overview

Title:
Nudges for Rural Sanitation: Evaluating low-touch methods to promote latrine use in Rural Bihar
Study is 3ie funded:
No
Study ID:
RIDIE-STUDY-ID-5ceb88fa214f2
Initial Registration Date:
05/27/2019
Last Update Date:
05/24/2019
Study Status:
Ongoing
Location(s):
India
Abstract:
Despite a rapid increase in toilet construction in the last five years, India continues to have one of the world’s highest open defecation rates, even among latrine owners. For example, 23% of latrine owners across four of India’s largest states report practising open defecation (Gupta et al., 2019). Our formative research in rural Bihar – an area with high levels of persistent open defecation (Gupta et al., 2019) – helps explain why. Latrine owners face three persistent behavioural barriers to exclusive latrine use: anxiety around pit-emptying causes latrines to be viewed as a limited resource, gender norms lead latrines to be perceived as primarily for women’s use, and the experience of using latrines is perceived as being less enjoyable than open defecation. In this paper, we use a Randomised Controlled Trial (RCT) to evaluate the potential of nudges to help mitigate these behavioural barriers and thereby contribute to ending the practice of open defecation in rural India.
Categories:
Water and Sanitation
Additional Keywords:
Open Defecation, Behaviour Change, Behavior Change, Nudges, Swachh Bharat, Rural Sanitation, Latrine, Latrine use, Bihar
Secondary ID Number(s):

Principal Investigator(s)

Name of First PI:
Pulkit Agarwal
Affiliation:
IDinsight
Name of Second PI:
Karan Nagpal
Affiliation:
IDinsight

Study Sponsor

Name:
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Study Sponsor Location:
India

Research Partner

Name of Partner Institution:
Type of Organization:
Location:
Intervention

Intervention Overview

Intervention:
We employ a behavioral science approach to design and evaluate a number of low-touch, cost-effective behavioural nudges that we implement in household latrines and that target each of the three behavioural barriers that we have identified. To address the pit-emptying barrier, we create an informational poster tailored for different types of latrines that shows how individuals can empty their pits, reframes pit-emptying as an acceptable activity, and provides a predicted date of pit-emptying customised for each household. To address the gender barrier, we create a poster that frames latrines as a resource shared by family members of all genders, as well as a toilet-use schedule to help households coordinate latrine use. To address the experience barrier, we provide all latrines with a fresh coat of paint, a “toilet kit” containing essential supplies for latrine upkeep, and a radio installed in the latrine to make latrine use enjoyable and recreate the social conditions households cited as key positive aspects of practicing open defecation.
Theory of Change:
Please check the attached pre-analysis plan document.
Multiple Treatment Arms Evaluated?
No

Implementing Agency

Name of Organization:
FINISH Society
Type of Organization:
NGO (local)/Community Based Organization/Other civil society organization

Program Funder

Name of Organization:
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Type of Organization:
NGO (International)

Intervention Timing

Intervention or Program Started at time of Registration?
Yes
Start Date:
02/04/2019
End Date:
03/13/2019
Evaluation Method

Evaluation Method Overview

Primary (or First) Evaluation Method:
Randomized control trial
Other (not Listed) Method:
Additional Evaluation Method (If Any):
Other (not Listed) Method:

Method Details

Details of Evaluation Approach:
We are currently conducting a household-level Randomized Controlled Trial (RCT) in Darbhanga District, Bihar, to rigorously measure the effect of our interventions on the salience of behavioural barriers and reported open defecation rates. Our study design uses a number of important innovations in data collection to generate high-quality data on defecation practices. These methods include permissive framing to overcome social desirability bias, visual likert-style questions that capture the salience of different behavioural barriers, and the use of door-clickers as an alternative data collection methodology for assessing the frequency of latrine use. Additionally, we ask a series of three questions on defecation practices that allows respondents to report both using latrines as well as open defecating in three time periods: yesterday, the past week in the morning, and the past week at other times of the day. By May, our study will have generated results on whether low-touch nudges are a cost-effective way of reducing open-defecation and diminishing the salience of some of the most critical behavioural barriers restricting latrine use in rural Bihar.
Outcomes (Endpoints):
Our primary outcome variables: 1. Open defecation: We will collect the following three indicators for the main respondent: a. Whether the respondent practiced open defecation and/or used a latrine at all in the previous day. b. Whether the respondent practiced open defecation and/or used a latrine at all in the morning during the past week. c. Whether the respondent practiced open defecation and/or used a latrine at all at other times of day besides the morning. 2. Salience of behavioural barriers that restrict latrine usage Our second outcome variables are latrine-oriented behaviours (See attached PAP for detailed information).
Unit of Analysis:
Household-latrine
Hypotheses:
The primary hypothesis questions are: 1. What is the effect of the intervention on rates of open defecation reported by those who are offered the intervention, compared to those who are not offered the intervention? 2. What is the effect of the nudge intervention on the salience of the three behavioural barriers to latrine use that we have identified as especially salient? These three behavioural barriers are: pit-emptying, gender-norm barriers to latrine use; associations of hassle and unpleasantness with latrine use. The secondary hypothesis questions are: 1. Does treatment affect other latrine-oriented behaviours and perceptions? These include: number of times latrine(s) is/are cleaned per week, self-reported cleanliness of latrine(s) 2. How do treatment effects on all outcomes of interest (OD rates, latrine use rates, barrier salience scores) vary by individual and household characteristics? These include: gender, age, baseline OD rates, religion, caste, education levels, socioeconomic Status (as measured by the Poverty Probability Index (PPI))
Unit of Intervention or Assignment:
Household-latrine
Number of Clusters in Sample:
Number of Individuals in Sample:
1,872 household-latrines
Size of Treatment, Control, or Comparison Subsamples:
804 treatment, 1064 control

Supplementary Files

Analysis Plan:
IDinsight-Nudges for Rural Sanitation Impact Evaluation Design Document.pdf
Other Documents:
Data

Outcomes Data

Description:
We are conducting a household survey (at baseline and endline) to collect this data.
Data Already Collected?
No
Data Previously Used?
Data Access:
Data Obtained by the Study Researchers?
Data Approval Process:
Approval Status:

Treatment Assignment Data

Participation or Assignment Information:
Yes
Description:
Data Obtained by the Study Researchers?
Data Previously Used?
Data Access:
Data Obtained by the Study Researchers?
Data Approval Process:
Approval Status:

Data Analysis

Data Analysis Status:

Study Materials

Upload Study Materials:

Registration Category

Registration Category:
Prospective, Category 1: Data for measuring impacts have not been collected
Completion

Completion Overview

Intervention Completion Date:
Data Collection Completion Date:
Unit of Analysis:
Clusters in Final Sample:
Total Observations in Final Sample:
Size of Treatment, Control, or Comparison Subsamples:

Findings

Preliminary Report:
Preliminary Report URL:
Summary of Findings:
Paper:
Paper Summary:
Paper Citation:

Data Availability

Data Availability (Primary Data):
Date of Data Availability:
Data URL or Contact:
Access procedure:

Other Materials

Survey:
Survey Instrument Links or Contact:
Program Files:
Program Files Links or Contact:
External Link:
External Link Description:
Description of Changes:

Study Stopped

Date:
Reason: